So what I have called TrumpRussiagate may appear similar to Watergate but there is one big difference — so far.
President Richard Nixon was using his power as the president to go after anyone he felt was in his way. He sent his crew of criminals to break into a psychiatrist’s office to get records to discredit Daniel Ellsberg who was responsible for releasing the so-called Pentagon Papers, secret government documents that showed the American people that the government had lied to them about the Vietnam War. Nixon went after journalists and others, sicking the IRS on them — write or say something criticizing the president and you get a tax audit. Nixon’s crew, known as “The Plumbers”, engaged in various dirty trucks against political opponents. In short, Nixon acted above the law.
President Donald Trump has done and said some bizarre things, and he is I would say willfully ignorant of domestic and world affairs (he is constantly amazed), but there is no evidence that he has resorted to the evil of Nixon or evil on the scale of Nixon — yet.
(And what I just wrote is arguable maybe.)
But there is this weird fixation on the Russian leader and Russia, this weird admiration for Russia.
I would not be at all surprised but what the Trump administration knew and approved of the activities of now fired national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and only let him go over embarrassment over the reporting of his meetings with the Russians during the campaign.
And I don’t know if it is criminal but Trump and his family and friends according to reports have so many business dealings with the Russians — seems like a conflict of interest at the least.
As to whether Trump and/or his campaign colluded with the Russians in the disruption of the American presidential election it could be anywhere from yes, to indirectly, to just them being appreciative of the Russian skullduggery.
If Trump can get peace in Syria and successfully deal with North Korea and bring on a new détente with the Russians in the name of world peace and get credit for improving the U.S. economy he just might beat the TrumpRussiagate rap.
Trump did ask rhetorically during his campaign: “what’s wrong with getting along with the Russians?”
But Trump meeting with top Russian officials in the White House the day after he fired the FBI director who was conducting a probe of the Russian involvement in our politics and possible collusion of the Trump campaign and the Russians did not look good.
It will likely though take a smoking gun to get Trump. It would seem easier in this day of instant news and social media and tell-all political books in which loyalty stops when there is a book deal involved than in the days of All the Presidents Men and reporters Woodward and Bernstein who were still making landline calls and pounding away on manual typewriters and making personal contacts out in the field day and night.
Yes, it might take gum shoe journalism — lonely reporters who stay on the story — to find that smoking gun.
If Trump starts going after his enemies Nixon style that could signal the end.
If things got real bad for Trump I could see him turning it all over to the vice president and claiming victory and saying “My work is done and it is fabulous”.